Happy May and welcome to my new clothing and accessories organization series on OLJ! I am super excited to be sharing a look into the organization overhaul of my closets, drawers, and vanity, both at our main home in Illinois as well as our family vacation home in Utah. I definitely have the organization itch right now, especially since I’ve been in a major purge phase of my things for the past few months. I decided it was appropriate to kick of the series with a chat about my recent purge process as well as a proper before tour of my closet in our main home.
I am not the type to weed through my belongings just once or twice a year, instead preferring to keep a “to donate” bin in my closet year round that I toss things into as I see fit. I really like Umbra Crunch Cans for this purpose. They’re big enough to hold quite a bit, but narrow enough to not take up too much room in my closet. Once the bin is filled, I send the items off to charity and start all over again making for a continual process. This year, however, I felt the need for a bigger purge and decided to take a harder, more dedicated look at my wardrobe. I have been going through all of my clothing and accessories (as well as makeup!) section by section over the past few months, trying on about 90% of my wardrobe and passing on about 50% of it. There is quite a bit to get through since I have accumulated quite a few things in the past fifteen years and have a tendency to hold onto things that still fit even if they don’t suit me anymore. Rather than overwhelm myself by taking it on all at once, I decided to just pick a section or two of my wardrobe about once a week and deal with the whole lot in little chunks. This started with my dressers, where I literally went through one to two drawers per week. Now I am finishing up the last few sections of my closet.
I organize all of my clothing by type, both in my drawers and in my closet, which makes it easy to break up the purging process into chunks. For example, just this morning I went through all of my cardigan sweaters. I hope to tackle my pants this weekend. I pull the clothing I want to try on out and leave it folded on a chair in our bedroom. My goal is to go through the pile and try everything on within a day or two, so I am not leaving piles out for weeks on end. I usually only keep one crunch can in my closet, but for this big clean out I am using several. I have filled two to the top with items to donate already! I keep one in my bedroom right next to my mirror where I try on my things so it’s easy to just toss in what goes. I think the third bin will be filled by the time my purging process has ended. It feels good to let go of things that no longer suit me! I realized it was a waste to hold onto things just because they still fit if I don’t enjoy wearing them anymore. I want my closet to be filled with things I genuinely want to wear and feel good in. Some of my clothing I’ve had for over 10 years. While I may have loved these things back in my early twenties, just because they still fit doesn’t mean I have to love them now. Letting go of things that have sentimental attachments can prove difficult, but I find that imagining other people getting some use out of things I no longer wear helps me to let go. I think it’s important to be flexible and open to change when it comes to your personal style and the same thing can be said for how you stock your wardrobe. I’ve felt a big shift in my sense of style over the past year and I want my wardrobe to be filled with items I love wearing.
I also wanted to share a before look at my closet since I am planning on reorganizing it in the next few weeks. It’s rather challenging to photograph or film because it is so long and narrow. It is huge and I am by no means complaining about the size, but rather trying to explain the poor photographs. Also, please bear in mind that this is a before look at my closet. I’m hoping that the after look will be tidier!
I like to refer to the closet in our master bedroom as “the bowling alley” thanks to its long and narrow layout. We have ample room to store not only our clothing but also all of our luggage, many travel accessories, and more. The front half of the closet is where we keep our clothing and accessories. My stuff takes up the entire lefthand wall (photo on the left), while my husband Don’s things are stored on about half of the righthand wall (photo on the right). This works out well, because the righthand wall bulges out a bit wider than the rest of the closet and can accommodate a deeper rod and shelf system for his manly clothing (and yes, I did mean to say manly clothing! 😉 ).
The back half of the closet is where I store my handbags, scarves, and other accessories (photo on the left) as well as our massive assortment of travel items, including luggage and bins (the polka dot ones by Reisenthel) filled with packing accessories, travel toiletries, and smaller bags (photo on the right). I am planning on moving all of those white bins on the upper two shelves which hold my impressive bear collection out of this closet and up into storage to make room for filming equipment.
I thought I’d share a look at a couple of my accessories organization areas in my closet that have functioned pretty well for me since target=”_blank”>my first big overhaul back in 2011. I still need to go through my shoes, but I like how I have them organized using clear shoe boxes for my heels, flats, and sandals, and hanging boot shapers for my boots (photo on the left). This section is actually right up by the closet door. My purse and wallet storage is at the end of the closet. I love these drawers because they keep everything nicely tucked away from dust and light. I designed and installed the entire closet myself when we first moved into the house seven years ago using Elfa. I prefer this closet system because it is so easy to design to suit your needs as well as rearrange down the line if your needs change.
Like I said, it’s a bit difficult to get a real sense of this closet in photos.
I recommend checking out my coordinating video for a better look if you’re interested:
I would love to hear about your closet clean out process or tips for clothing organization if you’d care to share. I look forward to sharing more of my spring clothing and accessories organization overhaul with you over the next month.
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